An Artist Out Of Practice


The Devil is in the Details, as they say…

I used to draw all the time. And I mean ALL the time. In high school I carried a sketchbook around with me from class to class like it was my job and would draw pretty much anyone or anything that crossed my mind.  Now I’m lucky if I can force myself to sit down and doodle in the margin of my grocery list.

Part of the problem is that I rarely get to just sit and listen anymore which is a great time for drawing because I can use both those parts of my brain at the same time and it is very relaxing to me. If I am working now it is usually at my computer and I am in charge of inputting words or clicking and selecting video images. And this is good for the part of me that makes films and likes to write stories, but bad for me as a draw-er (Illustrator? Draftsman?)

Drawing takes muscle memory and fingers get stupid very quickly.

The other part of the problem is that I don’t always dedicate my “art” time to drawing. I like cutting up bits of paper and making collages, which is art but isn’t the same as drawing. Or I like to draw in pen-and-ink which as a nice bold black and white quality and I get very out of practice with the subtler forms of pencil shading.

And finally I struggle with this internal need for all my work to be useful. I will start a drawing and then feel silly because it doesn’t have any purpose. Why am I drawing a picture of a person wearing a hat? I don’t know. Am I designing the hat? Is this person someone important? Will anyone want to look at a picture of a person wearing a hat? It is a vicious cycle and sometimes it makes me give up.

Anyway here is a drawing I recently did. It took me three days of work but I finished it and I’m proud of that. It is a character from a story that I have had in my head since 2005 but have never been able to satisfactorily write down. Maybe someday.


~ by Gwydhar Gebien on January 8, 2013.

One Response to “An Artist Out Of Practice”

  1. […] his half-brother Damen whom you might recognize from a drawing I put up last month under the post “An Artist Out of Practice”. I guess it is no mystery as to how I got to be out of practice: I never finish what I start. […]

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